It had been five or six years since they fished together as a team, but the reunion of Dale Ball and Steve Bereda was a winning combination once again Saturday.
The venue was Lake Nacimiento, and the event was the first stop on the 2010-11 WON Bass Central Coast schedule.
Bereda, of Santa Margarita, claims that Creston resident Ball “taught him how to bass fish.”
Ball said, “Steve was well on his way to becoming a good fisherman when we first met.”
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Their paths crossed at Lake San Antonio many years ago when both were striper fishing. Ball invited Bereda to join him, and their angling careers have blossomed ever since.
The pair entered a Champion Boat Owners Tournament at Lake Mead in 1993, where the duo placed in the top 10 and qualified for a national competition at Lake Oachita near Hot Springs, Ark. More than 200 teams were entered. “We came in 12th or 13th,” Bereda said.But Ball’s work as a licensed captain on “Clean Ocean,” a 150-foot long oil spill response vessel based in Santa Barbara, has complicated participation in most tournament series.
The 2011 season-ending WON Bass TOC will be held at Nacimiento.
“I’m hoping that Steve and I can qualify,” Ball said. “For that to happen, Steve may have to fish alone sometimes, as my work schedule may conflict.”
Ball, the reigning California State Bass Champion, practiced two days for Saturday’s event.
He phoned Bereda the previous Thursday and asked him to become his partner once again.
“We were about middle of the pack at blast off,” Ball, 53, advised. “On Steve’s first jig cast into shallow water, he caught the tournament’s big fish.”
That 3.07-pound spotted bass anchored their 11.17-pound five fish limit. The champs won by a mere 20 one hundredths of a pound over Erik Zillig and Damon Meeks.
“We caught about 15 keepers and five shorts. All were spots. We fished in three to 15 feet of water with worms and jigs,” Ball said.
The winners fished from Ball’s 2006 Champion boat, whose sponsored wrap now signifies him as the as 2010 California Bass Champion. Joe Gardiner, who graduates from Cal Poly on Saturday, is the new WON Bass Central Coast tournament director. Twenty-eight teams entered the first event with all but two catching five-fish limits.
————WON Bass Top 10 (all 5-fish limits), Wt., Winnings---1.Dale Ball, Creston, Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 11.17 pounds, $1,000; 2. Erik Zillig, Cambria, Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 10.97 pounds, $770; 3.Shawn Lee, Arroyo Grande, Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, 10.12 pounds, $610; 4. Jerry Williams, Willy Tompkins, Porterville, 9.65 pounds, $630; 5.Roger Haas, Bob Simmons, Morro Bay, 9.61 pounds, $230; 6. Dan Frazier, Arroyo Grande, David Frazier, Westminster, 9.52 pounds, $90; 7.Louis Fernandes, Santa Maria, Patrick Touey, Nipomo, 9.21 pounds; 8. Sam James, Tom Nieto, Salinas, 9.20 pounds; 9. Aaron & Eddie Davidson, Atascadero, 8.83 pounds; 10. Shawn Wilson, San Miguel, Mark Gomes, Paso Robles, 8.74 pounds.1st Big Fish, 3.07 pounds, Ball & Bereda, $324; 2nd Big Fish, 2.64 pounds, Zillig & Meeks, $216.————
Paso Robles — Quail and waterfowl topped the harvest on the opening weekend of the Camp Roberts Holiday Hunt.
Seventy-one quail were bagged, 45 on Dec. 4 and 26 on Dec. 5.
The harvest of waterfowl totaled 32 birds, 25 on Saturday and seven on Sunday.
Other animals dropped over the weekend included 15 dove, eight jackrabbits, and four cottontail rabbits.
No wild pigs were taken.
The hunt continues Dec. 11 and 12, 18 and 19 and 27-31. The base is open on the aforementioned dates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
And now for some ideas for the outdoors man or woman on your Christmas gift list:
How about a stocking stuffer for $4.95 from J.E. Sherry Co. of San Luis Obispo?
The Fisherman’s Ultimate Knot Guide consists of waterproof plastic cards that show how to tie the 10 best fishing knots. It folds out to a 12-inch ruler. They are available locally at Four Seasons Outfitters and Tackle Warehouse as well as online from www.jesherry.com.
Also, all tackle is for sale at a 20 percent discount at Santa Margarita Lake Marina, which is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. A combination Christmas party and pot luck open to the public is set for Saturday, Dec. 11 from noon to 5 p.m. Bring a present and a pot luck dish to share. For more details, call 438-1522.
Four Seasons Outfitters, open 9-6 Monday through Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday, features Garmin GPS units from $135-$200; Adventure Medical First Aid Kits, from $10.95-$69.99; Shimano fishing reels $19.99 and up; Eureka and North Face sleeping bags $59-$79; compasses by Silva $12.98 and up; Carhartt sweatshirts $36.95 and up; complete reloading supplies for a shotgun, rifle and pistol; and complete line of gun cases $24.98 and up.
Check back next week for more gift ideas.